Is it ‘reserved’ or not?

David Epps

It’s been a good while since I have written a consumer interest column. When I do, I usually focus on customer service: how was the customer treated, especially if there was an issue. The customer, in these cases, being me.

Much of the time, my articles have commended businesses that have excelled in treating customers well, such as Chick-fil-A, Peachtree City, or Crossroads Automotive, Newnan.

There have been a very few who have made the column because their customer service was especially poor. Sears, in Union City, was one such business. It is this second category that qualifies Hertz rent a car of Peachtree City to get the spotlight.

When I rent a vehicle it is because I need a vehicle for a specific purpose. I don’t rent cars just because I have extra money lying around. Last week I had a car reserved for a variety of reasons, including an out-of-town trip. I reserved a full-size auto for a full week.

I should add that my wife and I have been getting by with one car since she retired, so the rental for the week was deemed to be a necessity and not a luxury.

And I have always assumed that “reserved” meant that something was “reserved.” That is, it is set aside just for you, no matter what else comes up.

Apparently “reserved” meant something else at the Hertz place. I arrived a few minutes early, having asked someone to drop me off. I went in and announced that I was there to pick up my car. My “reserved” car, I might add. The young lady assisting me was quite friendly, helpful, and embarrassed.

She quietly informed me that, due to reasons that I don’t fully understand (something about increased accidents, people extending their contracts, etc.), there was no car for me.

“Didn’t I have a reservation?”


“And, yet, you don’t have a car for me?”


That’s not the exact conversation but it is the gist. I was not happy.

At this time, a pleasant young man came out to also offer the explanation and his apologies.

I said, “Don’t you think it would have been a good idea to have called me about this situation so I would have had the time to make other arrangements?” After all, if I had known in the morning, I could have scrambled around and done something –but now it was too late.

Apologetically, he said, “The company won’t let us call customers.” At this, I began to seethe on the inside.

“Hertz won’t let you call me? So I have to drive down here and waste this time to find out that you don’t have a car and they won’t let you tell me this?”

Again, both the man and the lady seemed truly sorry. “Do me a favor. Tell your management that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of,” was my comment. “And tell them that this stupidity has cost Hertz a good return customer.”

On the Hertz website is found this comment: “Booking Directly is Easy & More Rewarding. Rent Today w/Hertz.”

Well, the booking was certainly easy, as promised. Actually getting the “reserved” car was impossible, however. In fact, there wasn’t a rental car in the whole Peachtree City lot that was available!

I can only wonder how many other people didn’t get their “reserved” car that day.

It’s a shame, really. The local Hertz has always been dependable in the past. That’s why I continued to use them. Now, however, it’s a matter of trust.

I was going to rent a car for a business trip to Jacksonville in November. But now I don’t trust them. A reservation is a promise and they broke that promise. With some 700 locations, I’m sure that my firing them as my go-to car rental company will pass unnoticed.

Maybe I’ll give it another try sometime. The local staff was very understanding, so I have no issues with them. But the fact that, according to them, they couldn’t call me and let me know my “reservation” was in jeopardy is inexcusable.

Once, when I was in the military, I saw a sign on an office bulletin board that read, “There’s no good reason for it. It’s just our policy.” Bad policies have consequences.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City ( He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at]


  1. Be careful of Enterprise too, I had them write the mileage down wrong once and the girl tried really hard to charge me for 99,700 driven in 3 days. I had to work hard to convince her that was impossible.

    Randy Clokey

  2. Hey Pastor,

    I hear you. I’ve had similar experiences with smaller Hertz outlets not located at airports. It’s maddening for this road warrior and I’m a Hertz Gold Member. Complaints don’t seem to do any good. There’s plenty of on-line discussions concern Hertz reserved cars or the lack thereof. What’s interesting, I have never had this problem with renting cars in Europe. Go figure. Unfortunately, Hertz and its little brothers – Thrifty and Dollar – are the only rental car companies I can use. (eyes rolling)